CASSAVA Smartech’s Vaya Tractor plans to plough at least one million hectares of land for smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe this cropping season.
The ‘on-demand logistics’ platform, developed by Cassava, already has 3 000 tractors on its platform and over one million smallholder farmers registered with its EcoFarmer network.
Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe CEO, Mr Eddie Chibi, said the platform was engaging the Government and farmers to help with this season’s ploughing.
“We have the capacity to do at least one million hectares as long as support is provided for financing the farmers, as well as ensuring there is enough diesel for the tractor owners,” said Mr Chibi.
He said the Vaya tractor platform works in the same way as the Vaya car service. A farmer can request for a tractor in much the same way as someone makes a request for a Vaya carpool.
“If there are a number of farmers in an area, we send a tractor. Farmers have already begun to order the service,” said Mr Chibi.
He said Vaya can also transport a tractor into an area using its large fleet of trucks. Mr Chibi said Vaya Tractor aims to carry out all ploughing in the country within the next three years.
The company also wants Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to buy tractors and put them on the Vaya Tractor platform as a business opportunity.
Vaya Tractor was developed by Cassava’s Vaya Logistics unit, working with a partner from Ghana.
Every tractor on the platform has a tracking device and there is a daily audit report of the tractor’s movement.
Tractors can also be tracked by satellite in remote areas where there is no mobile phone coverage. The company plans to roll out Vaya Logistics in other African countries.
“We in Zimbabwe are the first country to try out this revolutionary approach to mechanisation, but eventually it is going to be a continental model,” said Vaya Africa CEO, Mr Oswald Jumira.
Meanwhile, Mr Chibi said Vaya had already begun doing work for organisations that do contract farming work in partnership with smallholder farmers.